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Mystical Hollywood

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Hollywood is arguably the most glamorous place on Earth, and yet it has a dark side: it is the place where many people's dreams of stardom were shattered, and several tragedies happened. Therefore it is not that uncommon in fiction to imply that this dark side is of mystical nature. Perhaps you need to strike a literal Deal with the Devil to become a star, perhaps the luxurious avenues are haunted by the ghosts of dead actors, or perhaps Hollywood itself is an Eldritch Location where the line between real and unreal is blurred.

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Examples

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    Comic Books 
  • The 1920s arc from American Vampire shows that a coven of the Carpathian vampires controls Hollywood, using it to strengthen both their financial clout and influence over mortals. It also turns old Hollywood from "merely" being cruelly exploitative to horrifyingly dangerous, as the conscienceless vampires are more than happy to feed on naive wannabe actors and actresses and have all the power necessary to cover up their sadistic and murderous deeds.
  • Lori Lovecraft contains all of standard Horrible Hollywood stereotypes: sleazy producers, egomaniac directors, narcissistic actors, embittered writers, etc. Oh, and a demonic conspiracy running things behind the scenes.
  • In Silverblade, a mystical being grants ageing actor Jonathan Lord the power to transform into any character he ever portrayed on film, and he gets caught up in a millennia old battle between ancient forces, with Hollywood itself as the battlefield.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Inland Empire is centered around the production of a Hollywood movie which is said to be cursed, and the surreal events surrounding it.
  • Men in Black, its continuations and Men in Black: The Series demonstrates that many big-name Hollywood celebrities (including such people as Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone and Dennis Rodman) are all aliens, and one episode of the series had J and K visiting the MIB's Hollywood office on a missing aliens case, which was more of a talent agency with additional weirdness and less of a super-secret police station (the agents had even stopped carrying weapons a long time ago), and showcased that In-Universe stand-ins for the Alien, Predator and Teletubbies franchises all starred aliens. As well, it's mentioned that Hollywood of all places is where people almost catch on to the fact aliens exist more often, forcing the Men In Black to wipe memories and allow films that cover things up to be produced on a regular basis.
  • In Mulholland Dr., Hollywood is controlled by shady masterminds like a wheelchair-bound kingpin Mr. Roque and the mysterious Cowboy who are implied to be supernatural entities. According to the most popular interpretation, the first part of the movie is the dream of a failed actress Diane Selwyn who invented a supernatural conspiracy in her mind as a reason for her failure.
  • In Starry Eyes, the Hollywood company Astraeus Pictures is revealed to be a sect worshipping a demon of the same name; in order to become a beautiful and successful actress, the main character makes a deal with the said demon.

    Literature 
  • This is the core of Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon; the titular location is where a silent movie star's grand mansion stands... still inhabited by said movie star in The '90s. A cursed tiled room within the house's depths has rendered her unaging and immortal, and on top of that, her perverse, hard-partying ways in her prime have resulted in the grounds being haunted by many celebrities from The Silent Age of Hollywood and The Golden Age of Hollywood, while Half-Human Hybrid creatures prowl the overgrown gardens.
  • In Moving Pictures, Eldritch Abominations arrive from Dungeon Dimensions as a result of alchemists creating movies at Holy Wood.
  • Unsong shows that Hollywood is the way it is due to the Angel of Creativity having elected the area as her temple.
  • In Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott's novel Vampyres of Hollywood and its sequel, Love Bites, many Old Hollywood film stars and producers such as Mary Pickford, Theda Bara, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks are actually vampires who used their abilities to mesmerize audiences on film. Many of them are actually responsible for popularizing false myths about vampires being vulnerable to garlic and holy symbols by depicting vampires that way in films so humans would underestimate them. Many of these old film stars faked their deaths and are trying to get back into the film business without being recognized as their old selves. Barbeau gives a very detailed portrayal of Hollywood and the film industry from an insider's perspective, as well as a very detailed "what-if" scenario that shows Hollywood as being created and run by vampires from the beginning. There are a lot of humorous throwaway lines about various celebrities, such as a brief description of Joan Crawford as an out-of-control werewolf.
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel thrived on this. Its Los Angeles had an underworld of vampires, demons and an evil Occult Law Firm called Wolfram and Hart.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Vampire: The Masquerade supplement LA By Night has it that the founding and flourishing of Los Angeles was guided by an extremely powerful Toreador, who was Embraced at 13 and came to California after his artistic debut saw him laughed out of Boston's Kindred society. It's mentioned that this child vampire's ancient mindset and relative lack of talent may explain why nothing original seems to come out of Hollywood.

    Video Games 
  • Holy Wood also makes an appearance in Discworld II, and at the very end, the Elf Queen uses the magic of the place to come from the screen.
  • The game Hollywood Monsters by Pendulo Studios and its follow-up The Next Big Thing take place in an alternate 1950s Los Angeles where the monsters from Hollywood horrors are real and live side by side with humans.
  • The Alternate History of Red Flood has a non-supernatural version, but one that still bears most of the hallmarks of this trope. In this timeline, the aftermath of an even worse World War I sees the rise of Accelerationism, an ideology that can best be described as Mad Artists coming together to craft a political program for national rebirth, which finds fertile ground in the arts all over the world, including the American film industry. In the event of the collapse of the United States, California is one of the many independent states to emerge from the chaos, and one potential leader is Edward Longstreet Bodin of the Spiritualist Party, California's Accelerationist faction. Hollywood's actors, writers, and directors constitute an important chunk of Bodin's base of support, and when he takes over California after the Collapse, he renames it the Spiritual Golden Realm and moves the nation's capital to Hollywood, with cinema given an exalted position in society. Radical spiritual ideas and conspiracy theories about alien "hidden rulers" threatening the Anglo-Saxon race are elevated to a position of official sanction and backing, with L. Ron Hubbard becoming one of Bodin's closest advisors and many experiments conducted into psychedelic drugs. This goes hand-in-hand with the vicious persecution of Catholics (and by extension Hispanics) as a subversive threat, with one event saying a church was bulldozed to make room for a film set after it was the scene of a riot. Overall, Bodin's California can be described as the worst stereotypes of Hollywood New Age flakes given their own country to run as they see fit.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Hollywood is all but run by the vampires, particularly of the Toreador clan, and is host to all manner of supernatural creepiness.

    Web Original 

    Other 
  • Various productions throughout Hollywood's history have been said to have been "cursed" due to various mishaps befalling the cast and crew. For more information, see The Production Curse.
  • A conspiracy theory prevalent among American evangelical Christians claims that Hollywood is one of the agencies that Satan and The Antichrist will use in the Last Days to corrupt the hearts and souls of men by denying God, perverting morals, promulgating socialism, feminism, and false gods, making it okay to persecute Christians, and of course bringing down America. In this analysis, the Devil is alive and well and living in Beverly Hills and Hollywood is a godless miasma full of Satanism and Black Masses. Jack Chick probably wrote a tract about it.
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